Body Language

body language

What does your body language say about you? At every moment in time the subconscious mind speaks to us through our bodies, in a language that is as refined, systematic, and complete as verbal language.  Becoming fluent in body language can help you to think more effectively and increase your awareness of yourself and others.


Your body will react to the communication it receives and it will do what it considers necessary, all on its own.  The language displayed by your body is made up by your:

  • Pace, rhythm, volume, and location of your breathing
  • Posture and balance
  • Movement and flexibility of your entire physical structure
  • Eye movement, and
  • Mood i.e. the electrochemical and muscular processes taking place throughout your system.

Together they speak of the “words” of your body and allow us to make immediate meaning out of our experience prior to a new learning, so it can direct us to communicate with others more effectively.

Make your body language a good habit using the SO CLEAR model, so it always supports your communications:

  • S is for the way you sit or stand and use space.
  • Open up.  Keep an open body posture and gestures.
  • C is for how exclusively you centre your attention on the other person.
  • L is for how you lean to show attention and apply or reduce pressure.
  • E is for eye contact.
  • A is for being at ease.
  • R is for subtly reflecting the other person’s type of language (formal or informal), body posture and voice tone.

Monitor the other person’s body language, too, particularly any changes that could indicate agreement, disagreement or other emotions.



Done properly, delegation can be very empowering.  It is a key leadership function that builds on the valued friendship, cooperation and support of the work team.  When fully empowered, members of a work team have a great deal of autonomy and work out many is­sues for themselves.  If it is a high-performing team, it will have synergy and its members will be competent and willing.  Teams like this don’t need anyone to tell them what to do.  The team leader guides them, using a questioning approach to help team members work things out for themselves.

Team leaders who are trying to develop fully empowered work teams would probably avoid giving instructions about how to carry out a certain task or under­take a project.  Instead, they delegate by communicating the desired outcomes and help team members decide how to proceed.

However, the road to full empower­ment is a long one and most team leaders are still expected to give work instructions along that road. 

The Importance of Delegation

Some team leaders resist delegating. They:

  • Don’t want to spend the time training the team members or they don’t trust them to do the job to the required standard.
  • Fear letting go or losing control, or worry that passing on knowledge will weaken their power base or value to the organisation.
  • Use easy tasks as relaxation or as a way to avoid doing other, more difficult parts of their job.

Delegation will give you time to look ahead and to plan your work and your team’s work more effectively.  It can free you from details, giving you time to provide coaching and mentoring, including feedback on performance; monitor the bigger picture and be sure that your team is operating smoothly; that output is integrated and synchronised; and that you are achieving your key objectives effectively and efficiently.

From the team members’ point of view, delegating can give them a way to participate and to enrich their jobs.  It is a great way to acknowledge, develop, train and coach people. Sharing your knowledge and skills and giving additional responsibilities can be a great motivator.


The Five Keys to Peak Performance

Ensuring that you competently perform your job is part of every job description. How can you ensure that your employee’s perform as expected or even go above and beyond in your role and exceed your expectations? There are five steps to ensuring you give you give your employees all the tools they need. Although the steps seem simple and maybe even common sense, they require work, dedication and in some cases continuous improvement to succeed.

The 5 keys that unlock performance:

 1.Knowing what to do

Team members need to know clearly and specifically what is expected of them.  This is called role clarity, in that it gives team members clear roles, responsibilities and goals they can strive towards.

 2.Wanting to do it

This involves:

°         Good job design

°         Correct job placement and motivation

°         Rewarding efforts through feedback, developing talents and treating team members with respect

 3.Knowing how to do it

°         Providing training and experience

°         Explaining job purpose and task importance

°         Create a learning environment

 4.Having the chance to do it

°         Correct tools and equipment

°         Adequate work systems and procedures

°         Time

°         Information

°         Team support

5.Are led to do it effectively…

When Team Leader has:

°        Self-respect

°        High Standards

°        Ambitious Goals

°        Focus, and

°        Interpersonal Skills

By ensuring that your workforce are competent, content and motivated at work, will lead to business success. Do you implement these five keys unknowingly or are there areas which need to be improved on?


Coaching is a highly personalised form of learning that aims to unlock and enhance the learning ability and performance of others.  It is concerned with designing and facilitating change and continuous improvement; by understanding and encouraging a person’s strengths, as well as recognising and overcoming challenges. It helps the person to help her/himself to bring about effective action.  This is achieved through meaningful two way conversation.

Coaching involves providing effective feedback and competent use of techniques such as listening, setting goals, questioning; and matching your coaching style to the person’s readiness to act.Coaching involves the translation of organisational strategies and targets into practical and realistic learning, development and performance goals for every role and person.

There are different types of coaching.

1.       Skills Coaching

Skills coaching is when you want to develop a person’s specific skills and to be able to carry out a task effectively e.g.  Preparing a report or a maintenance process.

2.       Performance Coaching

Performance coaching is when you want to enhance the overall performance of a person in their role e.g.  overall assessment and examination of what’s working well in the role; what someone would like to keep improving and monitoring; and progressing potential in their current role.

3.       Development Coaching

Developing Coaching is when your focus is on the longer term development of the person e.g.  Professional and career development; strategies for future roles; closing skill gaps; and building networks.

Coaching offers numerous benefits to employees. Employees who are coached rather than managed to learning and performance development are more committed to and invested in the outcomes of their work and achievement of organisational goals.Through coaching, leaders encourage employees to become more self-reliant and engage in continuous learning and career development, to achieve performance results. Benefits include: improved communication, increased self-awareness, improved individual, team and organisational performance, reduced staff turnover, shared vision and commitment, improved decision making and motivation- to name a few.

Change in business today is not linear, and requires quick shifts into entirely new and matrix type models.  Coaching supports people in quick shifts needed to meet changing business demands. The Pivot Institute offer specialised coaching programs to our clients in different areas. Why not enquire today by calling a member of the Pivot team on 1300 354 309

Performance Management

Performance Management involves the translation of organisational strategies and targets into practical and realistic performance goals for every role and person.  It takes place between a team leader and team member and is guided by the organisation’s Performance Management process.

The following steps provide a guide that team leaders may use to assist a team member to improve their performance:

Step 1

The team leader initiates a performance management review meeting focusing on the previously documented performance objectives and indicators.

Step 2

During this meeting, explain to the team member where performance improvements need to be made.  Determine what is causing the performance problems, clarify objectives and expectations and identify gaps in knowledge or capabilities.

Step 3

Clarify the performance improvement plan objectives and measurement indicators within a designated time period.  The performance targets should be specific and achievable within the allocated period of time.

Step 4

Providing support will assist the team member to meet the expectations and objectives set in their performance improvement plan.  This may include, but is not limited to, training, counselling, close supervision and/or coaching.

Step 5

Conduct a performance review within the agreed time period to assess performance improvement.  The time period should be determined by the complexity of the improvement needed and the capabilities of the team member.

Step 6

If the team member is experiencing difficulty in meeting expectations, the team leader should speak with them immediately and determine what additional assistance is required to meet the expectations in the agreed time.

Step 7

If performance improvement has not been achieved then steps 2 to 6 may be repeated.  At the review the team leader should inform the team member that if their performance does not improve disciplinary action may commence at the next review.  Continue to monitor the team member’s performance throughout the set period.

Step 8

Assess performance improvement during a third performance review.  If performance is not at a satisfactory level then the disciplinary process may be invoked.  Contact your HR Advisor to discuss the next steps.

It is vital for team members to perform their job to the best of their ability. Potential Outcomes of Performance Improvement may include:

°         Individual’s performance improves to a satisfactory level.

°         Individual’s performance improves but still requires monitoring.

°         Individual’s performance does not improve resulting in a written warning through to potential dismissal.

Manage your team’s performance today and see your company’s workload/outputs/capability grow.